July 14, 2019

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” – Oprah

In my Prosperity Summer Camp webinar series, we just finished a lesson on asking for help. For the week’s homework, all the “prosperity campers” must ask a Big Fish for help with the Big Goal they are working on manifesting by July 31.

My definition of a “Big Fish” is someone who is respected and well connected. They don’t have to be a titan of industry or celebrity; they just have to be successful at whatever they are up to in life.

Fourteen years ago, at the beginning of my career as a life coach, my first certification specialty was Dream Coaching ™, through a course designed and taught by Marcia Wieder, who has been helping people make their Big Dreams a reality for over 30 years.  One of the first things she taught us was that the #1 shortcut to making any dream come true is to tell someone about it. That’s because of the “Six Degrees of Separation” rule of life – everyone is just six connections away from a resource they need or a person they want to meet.  If you tell the RIGHT people about your Big Goal, you will be amazed how often they will say, “Oh, I know someone who can help you with that” or “I know just where to find that.”

One caveat, though: Don’t share your Big Goals with known “dream stealers” – those people who love to tell you all the reasons why your dream is impossible or not a good idea. (You may have some of those among your friends or family.)  Only share with and ask for help from “Big Fish” that you respect. Yes, they are usually busy people!  So your request must be 1) Clear and specific and 2) Simple for them to carry out. If you confuse them about what you want of them, you are likely to get a “No.”

For example, if you are finishing up writing your first book and want to get it published, don’t ask a published author, “Can you help me with my book?”  They may think you want them to edit it or send it to their publisher for you!  Instead, ask for the specific help you know they can easily grant you: “I am finishing editing my first book. Can you give me some advice on how to find a good agent?”  Or “Would you be willing to write a short endorsement for the cover when it’s done?”

If your ask is clear and straightforward and doesn’t require a tremendous investment of time on their part, most Big Fish will be happy to help you. They know that they didn’t get to the top by themselves; they had mentors who supported them along the way with advice and connections and resources.  So, Big Fish are actually the MOST likely people to be generous about helping you whenever you make a clear, specific request because they admire your courage and chutzpah for asking them!

And it really makes all of us feel GOOD when we get to help someone out, doesn’t it?  Wouldn’t you gladly support someone if they asked you for something you could easily do?  Of course you would!  Generosity feels great. So realize that if you try to do everything by yourself, you are depriving others of the joy of contributing to you!

One of my coaching clients is a single woman with a busy career.  She told me that she has a lot of projects she wants to finish around her home and yard, but is short on energy after a long work week and doesn’t look forward to spending her precious weekends on chores.

So I suggested that she ask a friend or neighbor (if it’s a small task that they are already expert at) or hire someone to do the drudge work or heavy lifting she doesn’t want to do. She confessed that she had simply never thought about the possibility of asking for help!

The next time we talked, she sounded much happier and more relaxed.  She said she had quickly located some young men to hire for many of the things she needed done, and they were relatively inexpensive. It was a Win-Win because they were very happy to be her heroes and grateful for the extra money, and she was very happy to have her leisure time back.

There are all kinds of personal and professional help, advice, and guidance available to you — much of it is free for the asking, and most of the rest of it is inexpensive. No matter what you were told growing up, it is NOT a sign of weakness or an imposition on others  to ask the RIGHT people for help with the RIGHT things!

It’s smart. And it’s also generous to allow others the joy of feeling good about themselves when they give you a little helping hand. Their “psychic paycheck” is your smile and heartfelt thanks.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next weekend off so I can play with my girlfriends.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday July 28.

If you or your friends would like your own F*R*E*E subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.

****************Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled******************

SUMMER SPECIAL!  New clients who begin coaching in either July or August will receive 50% OFF your first month’s fee!  This offer won’t be repeated, so HURRY! If you have a Big Goal you want to pursue – either business or personal — I urge you to schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E hour of phone coaching with me that will help you clarify your Big Goals and explore how we can get you into action to make them a reality: Email caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com TODAY! 

July 7, 2019

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” – Dalai Lama

It’s inevitable that we will be disappointed from time to time.  It’s easy to view it as a failure when goals we wanted to attain don’t happen how or when we planned.  But when your heartfelt desire is delayed, if you will look for the blessing in the situation, you can see that not getting what you wanted was actually the best thing for you.

Like disappointment, nobody easily embraces change. When things seem to be going along smoothly and we are feeling comfortable, most of us fight against having to learn or adjust to something new.

I have always felt this way about technology. I remember feeling nervous about learning to use email… Then a smart phone… Then social media….Then video conferencing.  I just wanted things to stay the way they were.  Wasn’t FAXing fast enough?  Didn’t a flip phone with texting answer every communication need?  Did we really need to know everything going on in our friends’ lives every minute? What if there was a technical glitch during a Zoom training for a big group — Wouldn’t they think I’m an idiot?

I can now laugh that adjusting to these relatively simple, very helpful tech wonders seemed so daunting once upon a time, but that was just my normal human reaction to change.  Yet, life is made up of constant change.  And therein lies a precious gift, because when one thing is taken away, something better often comes along to take its place.

The same is true of pursuing your Big Goals.  Your Ego can’t help but have its own preconceived ideas about how you will achieve them. It anticipates the who, the when and the how based entirely upon its past experience.  When you hit a roadblock and your goal doesn’t seem to be manifesting or manifesting quickly enough, your Ego gets frustrated, disappointed and sees it as a failure, when really, something better could be just around the corner.

If you can stay centered, set aside your preconceived notions, and look at the situation with a fresh eye, you may discover that you are being guided by a much BIGGER Mind than your own limited Ego to something EVEN better – a better outcome, or at least a better HOW for achieving it.

My favorite positive thought preacher, Joel Osteen, writes this about the need for human beings to be constantly challenged to improve and grow, as part of our journey to fulfilling our individual life purpose:

“When the people of Israel were in the desert on the way to the Promised Land, God gave them manna to eat.  That was good.  It sustained them for a while, but it wasn’t permanent provision. Eventually, the manna stopped coming.  The people had to move forward and then God gave them quail.  They were so excited. That fed them for a while, but it was also temporary…. The fact that God had something much greater in store for their future is what kept them moving forward…Don’t get stuck in a rut and think that one way is going to last forever.  Instead, stay open and be willing to change, make adjustments, make corrections or try something new.  If the ‘manna’ stops coming, don’t get upset.  Just keep moving forward and be on the lookout for the new provision God has in store for you!”

I had my own recent experience with the disappointment of one door closing, followed by the revelation of a better door opening.  In my fifteen years as a Personal Success Coach, I have experienced the same phenomenon every year: Many of my female clients want to take the summer off from coaching in order to spend more time with their children, who are out of school. While I completely understand their desire to spend precious time with their families, I still need to earn my income during those summer months.

In early May three years ago, on a long flight home from spending our 10th anniversary in Hawaii, I started reading a book that many of my network marketing clients had recommended called You Are a Badass at Making Money, by Jen Sincero. With each page I read, I got more and more excited!  This book explains how to put the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to work in practical ways to help you achieve your Big Goals better than any book I had ever read…and I have been studying the Law of Attraction for the past 25 years!

I was so excited that all I could think about was how to get EVERYONE I knew to read this book. That’s when it dawned on me that I could create a course to teach the main points of the book to my clients over the summer months, in a way that would be more fun, less expensive and less time-consuming than private coaching.  That was truly my ONLY motivation.

The next thing I knew, I was announcing the first Prosperity Summer Camp webinar, and 40 people quickly signed up!  I had to work FAST to learn how to use Zoom technology to create my first videoconference training and design seven one-hour lesson plans on the fly, writing each one just days before the next week’s class.

None of this was the way that I had imagined a new income stream for the summer months would come to me, but it turned out to be the perfect HOW.  If I could have foreseen the future on that plane ride — how much work would be involved, how much new technology I was going to have to master, and how nervous I would be about pulling it off — I doubt that I would have even started.

But this WAS my “manna”!  The next summer, I did it again, and word of mouth brought in twice as many Prosperity Campers as the year before.  Year two was my “quail,” and I was so grateful and happy that I had found a seemingly-permanent solution to my need for summer income!  Now, I could just settle back and keep the ball rolling summer after summer, right?

Nope.  This June, suddenly, there were a number of competing summer training courses being offered to my potential network marketing participants.  Each one valuable in its own way, but competition nonetheless.

So, this year, my campers are a much smaller but equally wonderful group.  And I am truly seeing the blessings in this!  While my income from the third annual Prosperity Summer Camp is much less than the last two, my satisfaction is much greater.  I am getting to spend more time with each participant’s homework and give them more direct help and feedback.  I am getting closer to them, being more vulnerable, and letting them see my own struggles and triumphs, right alongside them.

And along the way, I got the BIGGEST blessing of all: being excited and open to what is next!  I know that I will continue to offer my Prosperity Camp course each year, because I love doing it and it transforms lives, but now I am open to offering it during other parts of the year, too.  And I have already begun to make new contacts that will promote me to NEW groups – besides those who have supported and promoted me all along.

Most importantly, I am overcoming my own long-held Limiting Belief that I must inevitably lose income in the summer.  That’s NOT the truth, but simply a self-fulfilling belief that my Ego has been holding over me for far too long.  I confidently put the word out that I am welcoming new clients and have already begun getting lots of referrals and several new clients for private summer coaching, too.

I hope that you will join me in releasing YOUR Ego’s disappointment and fear of change  — of losing the “manna” and “quail” that God has already provided to you.  Together, we can allow ourselves to be guided to NEW opportunities for creating even greater fun, fulfillment and prosperity.

If you or your friends would like your own F*R*E*E subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.

****************Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled******************

SUMMER SPECIAL!  New clients who begin coaching in either July or August will receive 50% OFF your first month’s fee!  This offer won’t be repeated, so HURRY! If you have a Big Goal you want to pursue – either business or personal — I urge you to schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E hour of phone coaching with me that will help you clarify your Big Goals and explore how we can get you into action to make them a reality: Email caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com TODAY! 

June 9, 2019

“Most of your emotions, positive or negative, are determined by how you talk to yourself on a minute-by-minute basis.  It’s not what happens to you, but the way that you interpret the things that are happening to you that determines how you feel.” – from Eat That Frog: 21 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

The third annual Prosperity Summer Camp webinar is off to a great start!  All the participants have created an envelope-pushing Intention (a BIG Goal they are 100% committed to reaching on or before July 31).  The focus of the course is to teach them tools and techniques to help them reach those Intentions, even though they don’t yet know HOW they will do it.

Some of the tools I give them involve work smarter not harder strategies, but most are about learning to control their mindsetThe dictionary definition of MINDSET is “an attitude, disposition or mood.”  Synonyms for it include “mental make-up, mental processes, way of thinking, where your head is at.”

If you want to be happy AND successful, you must learn to control your mindset because your mindset conjures up emotions that, in turn, trigger the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to attract people, resources and circumstances that will either HELP or HINDER you from creating what you want.

You may think that whatever happens to you makes you spontaneously FEEL a certain way and there’s nothing you can do about it. Fortunately, that is far from the case! Outer circumstances do not have the power to make us FEEL any particular way.  You have the absolute power to CHOOSE how you feel and respond to whatever happens to you.

It all starts with how you choose to interpret what happens to you and the meaning you choose to give it.  That is your MINDSET in daily action.

Here are four main areas in which your MINDSET can greatly affect your EMOTIONS, which in turn, will set the Law of Attraction in motion to either move you forward or hold you back from reaching your Big Goals:

  • Negative Interpretations of what others’ words and actions mean about you

A teacher recently told me that she has been waking up every morning in a foul mood.  She didn’t seem to know exactly why, so I asked her to consider what thoughts she was having that could be triggering her negative emotions.  She answered candidly that she was disheartened that, as the final weeks of school wound down, most of her class seemed bored and mentally checked out.  She interpreted her students’ dull mood and distracted behavior to be a reflection of HER teaching skills.  She was telling herself, “If I were a better teacher, they would be more engaged and eager to learn.”

As soon as she said it, she recognized the fallacy of her chosen interpretation. She admitted that she and her students are ALL tired after a long school year, and that the subject she teaches is not a scintillating one that most students would choose unless it was required. In fact, when she was in school, it probably never crossed her mind that she herself would end up in that field!

Just shifting her interpretation of why other people were behaving in a certain way elevated her mood, and she decided to focus her attention on the students who ARE engaged and clearly appreciate her efforts to make the class interesting and useful.

As my friend and mentor Leslie Zann often says, “You are making it all up anyway, so why not make up something GOOD?” 

  • Comparing yourself to others

We know we shouldn’t, but our Egos seem to be hard-wired to do this. You MUST consciously stop yourself from doing it because it has a demoralizing effect on your energy and prevents the Law of Attraction from attracting what you want.

Moreover, your self-comparison is likely not valid, because you are inevitably comparing apples to oranges.  Anyone who seems to be doing better or going faster than you does not have the identical circumstances or background you have: They grew up with a different family dynamic, have a different education, training and/or experience, different friends and connections, and a different personality and perhaps a different MINDSET. You have nothing in common with them, except perhaps the length of time you have been going after a similar goal.  So forget about competing and concentrate instead on running your own race and making the most of your own unique skills, abilities, qualities and mindset.

  • Berating yourself (or others) for past mistakes

The most useless human emotion is guilt.  To be human is to make mistakes and feel regret. But you cannot change the past, no matter how much you wish you could. All you can do is to take full responsibility for your own mess-ups, especially those that affect others.  Sincerely and humbly apologize to anyone you have harmed by your words, actions or inactions.  Make amends if you possibly can. But even if they don’t forgive you, you must forgive yourself and move on.

Staying mentally stuck in the past prevents you from taking the positive actions that can help yourself and others today and tomorrow. Learn from your mistakes so you won’t repeat them and leave the guilt behind.

The second most useless emotion is resentment. If you want to be forgiven, you must be willing to forgive others.  That doesn’t mean you condone their actions, but you have to forgive them for YOUR sake. If you harbor resentment, anger or thirst for revenge, you are only hurting yourself, because the Law of Attraction must inevitably attract to YOU even MORE circumstances to resent.

  • Worrying about the future

Worry is a totally unhelpful mindset.  Any time you spend focusing your thoughts on the “worst case scenario” that your Ego fears might happen is wasted time that could be used to create the outcome you DO want.  You can’t hold two separate thoughts in your mind at the same time.  So if you find yourself worrying about a possible negative outcome (which let’s face it, 99 percent of the time never happens anyway), simply turn your thoughts to focusing on what you DO want, and you will be sending your powerful energy in the RIGHT direction for the Law of Attraction to help you get it.

As positive thought preacher Joel Osteen says, “Pay attention to what is playing in your mind. When you dwell on negative thoughts, you’re not going to have peace.  You have to change what you’re dwelling on.  So when the opportunity to worry comes, use it as a reminder to …. thank [God/The Universe] for His good!”

If you want to feel consistently great and create all the success you dream of, you must start right now to monitor your MINDSET closely. You have the power to generate thoughts that are going to call forth positive emotions that will make the Law of Attraction your ally in reaching your Big Goals in record time!

If you or your friends would like your own F*R*E*E* subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* hour of phone coaching that will help you clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com today.

 

June 2, 2019

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

The third annual Prosperity Summer Camp begins soon, and I am immersed in registering the last “campers” (there is still room if you want to join us!) and preparing to launch the webinar on Tuesday.  I hope you will forgive me for re-publishing this lightly-edited blog, but I believe the question “Why am I doing this?” is always relevant and worth reviewing for all of us. It’s also a great motivational antidote to the topic of the last blog (I Don’t Wanna! – Blog 338).

June 10, 2018

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey

I am sure you have a number of important Big Goals you want to achieve in many areas of your life.  Some will take a matter of weeks or months to fulfill (like planning a great summer vacation), while others can take years or maybe even a lifetime.  How do you sustain the necessary daily focus and enthusiasm it takes to reach a goal that seems pretty far down the road… When it’s just an average Wednesday?

I believe the first thing you have to do is get crystal clear on your WHY.  What is the compelling reason you are making the effort to pursue your Big Goal in the first place?  What will it mean to you when you when you have attained it?

Without a compelling Why, every day can feel like just another Wednesday full of To-Dos, errands and actions you promised to take but are looking for an excuse not to do, even though you recognize that they are the very stepping stones that will carry you to your Big Goal.

The good news is that you CAN motivate yourself on a daily basis to do that stuff that nobody WANTS to do to build your business, get your degree, work your way up the corporate ladder, write your novel, learn a skill that will change your life, etc.

In Get Over your Damn Self, Romi Neustadt, a very successful Leader in the network marketing industry, suggests four simple questions you can journal the answers to that will help you dig down to find your fundamental REASON for reaching a Big Goal and why it is worth making the daily effort to reach it:

  • What is your WHY? (Peel back the onion to get to your real WHY).
  • Why is this so important to you? Get really specific here. How do you see this changing your life, affecting your family, helping you get where you want to be long-term?
  • If you don’t achieve your WHY, what’s the pain you’ll experience? In other words, what’s the cost you’ll pay in your life by not taking action [to reach your Big Goal]? Really flesh out this part. What will you and your family miss out on in life? How will this affect your confidence and your self-esteem?
  • Look ahead into the future. If you don’t achieve your WHY, where will you be and what will you have given up, all because you didn’t follow through and take action on what was important?

After you have answered these honestly, she says, “Read this every day for three weeks.  I found it very helpful to read it first thing in the morning, even before my feet hit the floor, to help set my intention for the day.  You may decide to do it before you go to sleep.  It doesn’t matter when you do it, as long as you do it.  Every day for 21 days.”

Another tip to help you get motivated to carry out the actions/activities that aren’t so fun and glamorous on an “average Wednesday” is to create an empowering context for what you are REALLY up to.  If you can’t see a direct connection between what you are currently doing and an inspiring, worthwhile OUTCOME (AKA “payoff”) that all your hard work will eventually lead to, you won’t be willing to do the work.

I recently had a context-shifting conversation with one of my coaching clients that helped her uncover a new, much more compelling Why to inspire her to work daily on building her network marketing business with focus and enthusiasm.

She confessed that she just wasn’t feeling motivated to do the work to achieve the next rung on the Leadership ladder.  Titles didn’t mean anything to her.  Her Why wasn’t financial, because her family is already pretty comfortable.  She liked the idea of being able to provide some nice “extras” for them, but they didn’t really NEED her business income in order to have a good life.  She was trying, but she just couldn’t find a motivating reason to get up every day and go after this goal like it mattered to her.

But when I asked her about the other people she could bring into the business if she would just pick up the phone and reach out to them, she started to perk up.  She is a natural giver and what really motivates her is helping others.  As we talked, she began to see that by not reaching out to these people, she could be depriving them of the opportunity to change their lives in ways that might be really important to THEM.

Suddenly, her energy shifted and her new, empowering context for “building a Team” was no longer what recognition or material rewards SHE could attain from doing the work. Her new Why for succeeding in her business became helping as many others as possible to achieve THEIR WHYs.  For the first time, she truly recognized that other people might never have a chance to achieve their Big Goals, unless she makes a consistent effort to reach out to them with passion and enthusiasm!

A week later, she reported making a LOT more calls to prospective business partners.  Even her husband had noticed a marked change in her and asked her what was different about her business these days.  She told him about her new Why and he marveled that he had not seen her so passionate about her business since she first started it.

“I’ve never felt as positive or comfortable with my business as I do now,” she said. “My husband was really impressed.  He could tell.  He said I sounded like a completely different person.  I FEEL better than I have in a long time!”

Building a large, thriving team of successful business partners is going to be a years-long endeavor for her.  But with this new, empowering context, she can turn each “ordinary” day into an extraordinary opportunity to change someone else’s life.

And that’s worth getting out of bed for!

If you or your friends would like your own F*R*E*E* subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* hour of phone coaching that will help you clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com today.

April 28, 2019

“What seems to be an obstacle can often be an opportunity to go in a better and more rewarding direction.  We only need to stop complaining and start looking at things with fresh eyes.  At the very worst, problems require us to become smarter, more resourceful and more determined.” – From the book How Successful People Think

Indomitable: (adj.) “Brave, determined, and impossible to defeat or frighten.”

A number of my coaching clients recently have faced some very big challenges in their lives: the death of a parent or close loved one, depression, anxiety, cancer, a parent’s stroke, serious financial hardship, a doubled work load when a colleague quit, sexual harassment, an ex-spouse trying to make their life a living hell, debilitating health challenges, an emotionally devastating court case, miscarriage, the serious illness or death of a beloved pet, and trying to find an affordable place to live closer to their work.

And yet, all of them have remained steadfast in their commitment to their personal Big Goals. How do they do it?  How do they remain strong and continue to carry on in the face of such daunting obstacles?

First and foremost, all of them have a strong faith. Whether they call it God, the Universe, Higher Power, etc. – they all believe that a force for good that is bigger than themselves wants to help them triumph.  Faith has sustained me in some of the darkest times when I could not see a light at the end of what seemed to be an endless tunnel.  I went to bed praying for strength and guidance and got up the next day and exactly what I needed was always there for me….One step at a time.

Second, they have a friend or family or support group they can lean on. It is easy to feel alone and isolated, believing you are the only one going through hell, especially when you spend time on social media reading about your peers, who seem to all be doing fine.  But you have to be willing to open up with someone you trust and ask for support.  The human Ego resists being vulnerable because it thinks showing weakness will get you killed. In truth, pretending to be OK when you are not will NOT help you overcome a challenge…. Asking for support from those you can trust WILL.

Third, they take it one day at a time.  The journey to overcoming all obstacles and reaching a Big Goal often lasts longer than you think it should, but you will eventually get there if you don’t give up.  It’s always too soon to quit.

My friend and I are on a mutual-support journey together right now to losing weight and getting fit.  It’s not easy, believe me.  For me, it’s a matter of wanting to look good and have more energy. The stakes are even higher for my friend’s health and physical comfort. We each broke our weight goal down into specific ACTIVITIES we promised to do each day, and we keep track of them and report in to each other each morning about what we did and didn’t do.  Having a daily accountability partner is one of the best forms of support you can use to help you persevere when the going gets tough.

When the scale doesn’t seem to budge after a long time of staying on track, we remind each other not to fixate on the outcome, but to focus on what we can control – our activities.  We know it is inevitable that doing the right activities MUST produce a result.  The timing isn’t in our control, but having the right mindset and doing what we said we would do IS.

Finally, you must expect the BEST.  When you are in the pit and you can’t see the way out, you can turn away from focusing on your problem and re-focus on your Big Goal. Spend time each day closing your eyes and VISUALIZING in vivid detail what life will be like when you reach it.  Remain unattached to the HOW, the WHO and the WHEN. Allow God/The Universe to do the planning and provide the guidance you need in the form of brainstorms, new insights, sudden memories, resources and people you encounter at just the right moment.  Your job is to BELIEVE and EXPECT it will happen, even when you have no idea HOW.

My husband and I suffered a huge financial setback in the Great Recession. We lost our clients, our incomes, two homes and a car.  We had to file bankruptcy and focus on just keeping a roof over our family’s heads and simply getting from one end of the month to the other. My daily focus for five solid years was putting one foot in front of the other, talking it out with friends when I felt down, and asking for specific help when I needed it. With a lot of faith and support, we survived the toughest time either of us had ever faced.  There were days I wanted to give up, but that notion never lasted.  I had too much indomitable spirit to allow any outer circumstances to defeat me.  With the support of friends and our unshakable faith that God would direct our steps, little by little, we found our footing.

After five years of steadily-growing inner strength, faith and hanging on, suddenly, everything turned around for us out of the blue.  Rick’s real estate business rebounded into one of the best years of his long career. At the same time, a single referral from a coaching colleague led me to several clients in same network marketing company, which began a string of hundreds of referrals and the greatest financial abundance I have known in my 15 years as a Personal Success Coach.

If you have an indomitable mindset, faith that your Higher Power will actively assist you, a willingness to be vulnerable and ask others for help, and the integrity to do everything you know how to do right now, I promise you, no matter how big the obstacles you face, you WILL overcome them and reach your biggest dreams.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give yourself, a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can gift this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (Feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

April 7, 2019

“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.” – Jim Carrey

A few weeks ago, I wrote about adopting our newest four-footed family member, Cagney.  After our beloved little rescue Chihuahua, Diamond, died unexpectedly in February, we knew immediately that we wanted to provide a home for another deserving rescue and Cagney came to us quickly and easily through the Nextdoor neighborhood website.

Cagney had a neglectful owner who kept him chained on a backyard patio for about two years, with only a lawnmower grass-catcher for a bed.  Eventually, his rescuer Sue was able to get custody of him and her friend Atissa took on the task of acclimating him to indoor life and finding him a good home, as these two wonderful women have done for many other dogs.

My husband Rick and I fell in love with Cagney at first meeting and the feeling was mutual.  He is adorable and loving and cuddly.  We are amazed at his loving, playful disposition, given that he had so little contact with people or other animals for most of his young life.  (Our vet estimates his age as 2-3 years old.)

He’s a smart little guy – part Border Collie and part Dachshund, from the looks of him — and Atissa was able to housebreak him and teach him to sit on command in a short time.  But soon after we took him into our home, we realized that his manners still needed “polishing” in a few areas.  He’s young and energetic and needs a lot of exercise and attention.  No problem.  Rick and I both work from home and he gets a lot of affection and attention from both of us all day.

The exercise part was a little trickier because he was not fully acclimated to walking on a leash.  I started walking him each morning with a harness, but soon found two major problems with that. He is small but very strong, and he would strain on the leash to go faster, dragging me along behind him.  And, more importantly, he is skittish around strangers and other dogs.  Whenever he sees another human of any age, he barks ferociously, and when he sees another dog – even at a distance – he barks, growls and snarls like a deranged hound from hell.

It was humiliating to have Cagney snarling at my neighbors and all the other placid, well-behaved dogs walking around us.  So we decided to get expert help on the proper way to train him, and hired a great trainer who came highly recommended on the same website where we originally found Cagney.

Dr. Eric Liss (chiropractor by day, dog whisperer by night) gave us just one hour of expert training and Cagney became a new dog.  It seemed like magic to us, but to Dr. Eric, it was simple: Understand how a dog thinks and then approach him with tools and techniques that make sense to HIM.  (As my BFF Lisa likes to say, “Dogs are not people in fur suits.”)

I want to share with you now the three lessons I learned from Dr. Eric’s simple and effective training techniques that can be applied to ANY goal you want to achieve or ANY challenge you must overcome:

LESSON ONE: Most of our fears are unfounded. This is really Cagney’s lesson. Without normal early socialization with other dogs or daily interactions with people who loved on him, Cagney probably came to view strangers and other dogs as threats.  He’s not really mean at all — just scared. He masks his fear by being loud and ferocious-sounding, hoping his bluff will scare them off.  But they aren’t really threats.  His fears are unfounded.

Isn’t this true of most of our fears when we pursue a Big Goal or face a challenge?  We immediately imagine a Worst Case Scenario outcome (failure, overwhelm, public humiliation, disappointed loved ones, etc. etc. etc.) and paint it in vivid detail in our imagination.  We get ourselves all worked up over something that almost never comes to pass or, if it does, turns out to be a lot less dire than our imagination cooked up.  We waste time and energy “barking” at nothing.

The mind (canine or human) can only hold one thought at a time.  Dr. Eric showed us how to redirect Cagney from focusing on the perceived threat, enabling him to calm down very quickly.  Now, when we encounter another person or dog on our walks, I know how to calmly reassure him and re-focus him to move on, and he is soon happily sniffing the bushes once again. You can also break the fear cycle by re-focusing your thoughts on the outcome you WANT, instead of imagining what you DON’T want.

LESSON TWO: Use the right tools. The harness was not the right equipment for Cagney’s walks. He was able to pull against the leash as hard as he could without discomfort, and there was nothing I could do to redirect him from barking at dogs and people. Dr. Eric brought a small prong collar for Cagney, which I had always imagined was a sharp, cruel instrument of torture.  But when I saw it up close, I realized the prongs are not sharp at all and it won’t choke him.  If he pulls against the chain with any force, it’s going to make him uncomfortable, but it’s not going to hurt him.  With a prong collar, it’s easy to redirect him with a light flick of the leash, instead of trying to pull against the cloth harness with all my might, which only gets him more agitated.

Whenever we pursue a goal, or face a challenge, we must use the right tools.  Sometimes they are obvious to us, but we avoid them because they make us emotionally “uncomfortable.” Many of my network marketing clients admit they have a “phone phobia” of speaking to a prospective customer or business partner.  They feel more comfortable texting.  And their prospect is also very comfortable ignoring their texts, just the way Cagney ignored me pulling on the harness.

But when they pick up the phone and CALL, even if they end up leaving a voice mail, my clients are always amazed at how quickly most people respond.  That’s because your energy is transmitted through your voice much more effectively than through flat words on a screen.  There’s no warm, friendly and inviting tone conveyed in a text.

So if you find that you are avoiding whatever tools you know you need to get the job done, ask yourself if you are really COMMITTED to reaching your goal.  If you are, you will find that a small amount of discomfort is worth it, if it leads to a great amount of success and pleasure.  Cagney’s walks are now a pleasure for both of us, thanks to one simple tool and knowing how to use it properly.

LESSON THREE: Energy is everything. This is the biggest lesson I got from Dr. Eric’s instructions. Whenever I panicked and tried to correct Cagney by yelling “NO!” it only escalated his anxiety and got us both more upset.  Rick and I learned that dogs don’t really understand words like “sit” and “stay.”  They respond to the tone and body language we use when we give those commands. Dogs are masterful at reading our energy and responding to it.  My own self-conscious anxiety over “What will the neighbors think of his behavior?” was actually getting him more worked up and causing more bad behavior.  Once I learned to relax, give a light flick of his chain, use a reassuring tone with “It’s OK,” and walk on, Cagney soon stopped barking, forgot about the “threat” that wasn’t real and followed my lead.

Humans are biological creatures too, and we respond to subtle energy cues from other people, just as dogs do.  The energy you bring to an interaction is going to have a big impact on the other person’s response.  As the Law of Attraction states, energy attracts like energy.”  You can decide what energy you want to embody and then direct your subconscious mind to put it into action by stating aloud to yourself how YOU want to show up in the situation. For example, “I am calm.  I am relaxed.  I am in control.” The positive energy you consciously choose to embody will affect the other people you are interacting with. Positive energy is stronger than negative energy, so when I decided to feel confident, adopt a cheerful, reassuring tone of voice and take control of my physical manner, Cagney’s negative energy quickly dissipated and reflected my own calm.  

There you have it!  It’s not rocket science, as Dr. Eric can attest.  You can make any Big Goal a reality or overcome any problem situation, if you will remember these three basic principles and put them into play….Did someone say “PLAY”?!  Cagney’s got a ball in his mouth right now. Guess we gotta go play!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can gift this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule their session.  

 

 

February 24, 2019

“A chief cause of worry and unhappiness in life is trading what we want most for what we want at the moment.” – Maralee McKee, author

I really don’t want to write this blog right now.  It’s Presidents Day Weekend, and my best four-footed friend just passed away.  It’s definitely not convenient or easy for me to write this now.

Yet, I AM writing this blog today because 1) The ideas are still fresh and 2) It will free me up next Saturday to do something I REALLY want to do.  I am willing to forgo the “easy” and “comfortable” option of sitting on the couch today, reading and relaxing, in favor of a much greater gain next week. Let me explain.

My wonderful husband Rick and I made the wrenching decision to have our little nine year old canine BFF put to sleep the night before Valentine’s Day.  She had just recently been diagnosed with a heart murmur, and within a week, her health had deteriorated to the point where she was lethargic, wouldn’t eat and was struggling to breathe.  It totally sucked for us, but we knew it was the kindest option for her.

After Rick’s former canine BFF, Samantha, died in October of 2016 at the ripe old age of 16, we adopted our little Chihuahua, Diamond, from The Little Red Dog. They are an amazing non-profit dog rescue headquartered in our town. They don’t have a shelter. Instead, they have an army of volunteer canine “parents” who foster the rescued dogs in their own homes until forever homes can be found for them, sometimes taking many months.

After the extreme emotional pain of losing Samantha, I swore I would never, ever own another dog. But the house felt so empty and quiet without her presence, I decide that being one of those foster parents would give me the satisfaction of helping a needy animal, without the attachment and responsibility of being its owner.  I was SO wrong.

During the car ride home from picking up Diamond (with two hours’ notice on Halloween), Rick took one look at my blissful face and Diamond totally relaxed on my lap, and sighed, “I know….We’re keeping her.”

My life changed forever at that moment.  I was no longer able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. My life was no longer just my own.  It now also belonged to this 10 pound bundle of tail-wagging love. Like any parent, I was at my “baby’s” beck and call 24/7. My daily routine centered around HER needs for walks, feedings, companionship, grooming, regular vet visits (and BIG vet dental bills), daily medications for her allergies, bathroom trips outside in the pouring rain, and regular trips to the pet store for toys and treats. Whenever Rick and I traveled, we had to arrange for a family member to come stay with her. I wrote out detailed instructions for her daily care, and worried while  we were gone that she might imagine we had deserted her like her former owners (who dumped her at the side of a Los Angeles freeway!)

What did I get in return for all this upheaval in my nice, easy routine?  Not much.  Just the greatest loyalty and unconditional love I could ever imagine.  A living being that trusted me completely and worshipped the ground I walked on. Whose whole body wriggled whenever I came into the room. Who would leave her food bowl to search for me if I left her side.  A warm, loving presence who slept in her bed by the side of my desk all day as I coached my clients and then stretched out between us on the couch every night while we enjoyed television.  Who looked into my eyes with adoration and licked my hand whenever she got the chance.

Was caring for Diamond inconvenient?  You bet.  Did it cause me extra work and worry and eventually heartache?  Oh yeah.  Was it worth it? 1000 percent YES!

Like everything in life that REALLY matters, our relationship was real work and it was worth it.  The easy, convenient things in life rarely seem to deliver much lasting joy or satisfaction.  The heartfelt Big Goals that we must sacrifice and risk something for usually bring us great reward and fulfillment.

The preparation answers that I recently received from a prospective client before our free coaching session struck me exactly like that. She said her three biggest short-term goals were: “I want to live a healthier lifestyle and lose weight. I want to enroll new members to join my business Team and grow my sales volume. I want to better manage my money so I can afford to move into my own apartment.” 

When asked what major obstacles stood in her way to achieving these Big Goals, she was admirably candid and insightful:

“I fall victim to immediate satisfaction. For example, I know I should save money, but going out with my friends makes me feel happy now.  I know I should eat healthier, but that glass of wine with pizza is too good.  I know I should work my business, but I’m hooked on reality TV.” 

Bingo! It’s always much easier and more comfortable to do whatever our human Ego wants to do in the moment.  But succumbing to momentary ease will never carry you to where you dream of ending up.  It will keep you stuck on the couch, eating pizza, watching TV and getting a little plumper each time you do.

Pursuing your Big Goals will be inconvenient, I can promise you.  There will never be a “perfect time” to go after them. There is only the moment when the OPPORTUNITY suddenly presents itself, like Diamond was unexpectedly handed to us.  You can grab it with gusto and give it your BEST effort and be rewarded a hundredfold in return.  Or you can stay right where you are today, doing whatever you want, whenever you want.

By the way, the thing that I REALLY want to do next Saturday is to meet our potential next adopted rescue and find our next opportunity to be inconvenienced.  Now that I have done the hard work of writing this blog for next week, I am free to do so and I can’t wait to meet our new furry Best Friend!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

This New Year, give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule their session.